Click on photograph to enlarge
Etching of the original Montpelier with the Farmhouse to the left.

History of the Society's Building

The Thomaston Historical Society is housed in the only remaining building of the original General Henry Knox estate. Built between 1793 and 1795, it was one of seven out-buildings which stood in a semicircle behind the original Knox mansion named Montpelier. Called the "Farmhouse" or the "tenants' building" it served as a living facility for the unmarried men employed on the estate to care for the animals, do the farm chores and maintain the residence. The structure is a two story Federal style brick building with center chimney and exposed beams.

In the picture above, it appears to the left and behind the General's beautiful mansion.

Click on photograph to enlarge
The Knox Farmhouse
 home of the Thomaston Historical Society

After the original mansion was razed to make way for the Knox and Lincoln Railroad, the farmhouse  building was kept and eventually put to use as the Thomaston Railroad Station (pictured below). It served in that capacity from 1872 until the railroad went out of business in 1956. After being purchased by the D.A.R., the building was given to the Knox Memorial Association which eventually turned it over to the Thomaston Historical Society in 1972 . Restored for use by the Society, the first floor area now has a large meeting room with a small kitchen, rest room, an archival storage room and display areas. The upper floor houses the Society's museum and a book depository for the many publications written for and sold by the Society. In 1974 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Click on photograph to enlarge
The Knox Farmhouse
 when it served as the Thomaston train depot
between 1872 to 1956.

The building is handicapped accessible with a ramp to the first floor meeting room and display area and a chair lift allowing visitors to gain entrance to the second story museum.

The addition of a 20'x20' ell to the building, begun in May 2001, has reestablished the original footprint of the building which had such a wing many years ago. This new two story space houses a climate controlled archival storage room on the first floor and a book depository on the second floor. A new rest room that is ADA accessible has also been added to the building making all parts of it accessible to everyone.

The area that used to hold our archives now houses a special exhibit about the Maine State Prison, formerly located in the town. The prison was razed in 2004 and moved to Warren. A new exhibit built by the Maine Department of Corrections about the old prison's history is now included in our second story museum.

Click on photograph to enlarge
The Thomaston Historical Society building,
The Farmhouse,
as it appears today.


Copyright © 2006 Catnip Graphics
This web site is provided courtesy of Midcoast Internet Solutions

Web site designed by Catnip Graphics. Please send comments to Last update: May 2011